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November 28, 1977

Neurosurgical Treatment in Psychiatry, Pain, and Epilepsy

Author Affiliations

University of California School of Medicine San Francisco

JAMA. 1977;238(22):2413. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280230077035

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This volume comprises the combined proceedings of the meetings of the Fourth World Congress of Psychiatric Surgery and the Second Meeting of the European Society for Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery. The predominant subject of concern to the participants was "psychosurgery." As might be expected, the caliber of the presentations is varied, particularly those dealing with the purely clinical results.

The initial two articles by Schneider and Valensteind cover, respectively, plasticity in the brain and the physiological mechanism by means of which the brain responds to new stimuli in the environment, termed "reinforcement." These chapters serve nicely to set the context in which to consider the effects of making lesions in the "normal" brain to modify behavior, whether the latter is psychologically aberrant or related to chronic pain or a seizure disorder. This basic work, of course, has been dealt with in greater depth in monographs oriented solely toward that subject